October 3rd, 2008
11:06 AM ET
5 years ago

Biden sends off son's National Guard unit

Joe Biden sends off his son's National Guard unit.
Joe Biden sends off his son's National Guard unit.

DOVER, Delaware (CNN) – Joe Biden spoke briefly but emotionally Friday morning at the deployment ceremony for his son Beau’s Iraq-bound National Guard unit.

“I’ve come here many times before,” Biden told the 261st Signal Brigade as they stood in formation. “As a Delawarean, as a United States senator. But today I come as you prepare to deploy as a father. A father who got some sage advice from his son this morning. “Dad, keep it short, we’re in formation.

Watch: Biden sends off son, troops

“I always listen to my general,” he continued. “So let me simply say, like all of the family members that are here today gathered on this green, my heart is full of love and pride.”

Biden didn’t get as choked up as he has in the past when talking about his family, but did show the emotion often seen on the campaign trail; his two-and-a-half minute remarks were filled with pregnant pauses, and delivered with a shaky voice. Biden wore his trademark aviator sunglasses during the entire event, except when speaking.

Related: Biden addresses ceremony

Thirty-nine-year-old Beau - a captain in the National Guard, and Delaware’s attorney general — is not immediately leaving for Iraq. He spends Friday and Saturday at home with his family before heading to Fort Bliss, Texas for additional training with his unit that will ship out for a year-long tour of duty in six to eight weeks.


Once in Iraq, Beau will be a prosecutor enforcing the Unified Code of Military Conduct in a unit that will provide communications for U.S. forces in the country.

Sarah Palin’s son Track deployed to Iraq September 11, a fact that Biden referenced in his closing remarks at Thursday night’s debate: "For both of us, selfishly, may God protect our troops."


Filed under: Beau Biden • Joe Biden
soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. Chris34-Ohio

    A no-brainer here
    Obama/Biden

    October 3, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Tonny-Texas

    He clearly showed the difference between the two tickets with substantial answers. He easily linked McCain to the Bush administration.

    October 3, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. April Garlow

    Biden knows he will really be running things if Obama wins, it was glaringly obvious in his answers at last nights debate.Obama is just a front man for the Old White Washington elite.Just wait until they make him tapdance.

    October 3, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. Steven Tucker

    No Offense to Palin but Biden showed himself to be much more ready to be President.

    October 3, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. Alex

    Palin failed to show that McCain is different then Bush. She was very UNPRESIDENTIAL!

    October 3, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. Roberto-Nevada

    Biden used up alot of his time correcting her with facts. She was caught in folfsy gosh darn lies-pitiful !

    October 3, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  7. MLG

    Debby-

    I am a desert storm vet. I have a son in Iraq. I am opposed to the Iraq war. I'm disgusted when people like you question my patriotism or that of Joe Biden's. I'm disgusted that republicans spin things to make it seem like I am not a patriot because I call BS when I need to. I do not want my son to die in vein because people like you are brainwashed into thinking you know what you are talking about when you have clearly not been there.

    Shame on you.

    October 3, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. mose

    Biden brings expertise and knowledge about foreign affairs.

    October 3, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. mose

    Biden did a great job of tying McCain to Bush policies. Clearly won the debate.

    October 3, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  10. Tina

    He showed discipline and a lack of gaffes as he is prone to. He also could be president if anything bad happened to Obama.

    October 3, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. Sherry

    May God watch over your son, Senator Biden.......as well as all the rest of the men and women fighting for our country.........God bless you and the rest of your family as well, Joe...... the tears you shed at lastnight's debate told me you have a real soul.......unlike Governor Palin, who didn't even comment on how hard it was for you to talk about Beau leaving ........it gives me great pleasure to be voting for Barack Obama and Joe Biden........I feel a weight being lifted from my shoulders knowing they will soon be taking us away from this deep dark hole we've been living in......and giving new life to all Americans........

    Sherry from Missouri

    October 3, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  12. Emily

    Biden helped more because he was real and personal.

    October 3, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. Nicole-Harvard Law school

    Biden is going to help keep the Obama momentum going because he won this debate.

    October 3, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. Karen

    I fell sorry for Biden because Beau is the son that survive the car wreck many years ago that killed Biden's wife and daughter... NOW that son (Beau) is being deployed to IRAQ which none of our troops should have been over there in the first place. I'm keeping Biden and Palin son in my prayers even though Palin believe in keeping the troops over in Iraq forever.. It's time to bring these young men and women home...

    To hell with McCain/Palin nonsense and stupidity. Last night, Palin sounded scripted. She was winking at the camera, what's next a little thigh action? and who the hell gives a shout out to third graders in the middle of a debate. Palin skipped over some of the questions and answer the questions she was comfortable with and NOW she's blaming Katie Couric for asking common sense questions. WOW.

    Biden was clear, concise and to the point and I like that a lot.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 3, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. carol

    Hands down smokin Joe did his job, supported our next prez with honor and wisdom far beyond his opponent!

    October 3, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. fred

    He made a clear distinction between Obama (change) and McCain/Bush (same). Palin failed to separate Bush from McCain.

    October 3, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. molly-florida

    Biden had a better command of facts. Perhaps, if we deregulated them (the facts) Palin's folksy quips would have more substance.

    October 3, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. VB Lincoln Park NJ

    Here's to ALL the troops in Iraq coming home safely.

    There is no question that Joe Biden came off better last night, as all Gov. Barbie could do was repeat staged talking points.

    OBABA/BIDEN 08

    October 3, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. ras

    There is no help or hope for the Republican ticket. They are doomed and tonight's debate has sealed it.

    October 3, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  20. xx

    Joe Biden was able to more effectively speak to Obama's plans to benefit the American people. Sarah Palin was a cheerleader for McSame.

    October 3, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. kerry

    Palin only repeated what she learned this week

    October 3, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. Northern Exposure

    Thanks Joe for being the only one who actually participated th the debate. You were thoughtful and respected the format. Palin spent 90 minutes spewing her talking points right off those cliff notes on the podium and having total disregard for the debate format. I guess you know how follow the rules.

    October 3, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  23. dave

    I, too, agree that she is not being a good mother to have that infant up that late. I did notice that he was trying to sleep. Why would any parent do that to a baby? I boggles my mind!

    But I have other issues concerning her and her parenting style or lack thereof. I also question who that baby really belongs to ... I'm just having a hard time believing Sarah could be in labor on an airplane for hours and the stewardesses didn't have a clue she was even pregnant. I just can't buy the fact that when she was 7 months pregnant nobody, including the people she worked with, knew ... or that after having 4 other children she didn't look pregnant at the age of 44 ... I just don't trust the McCain campaign because I think they would rather make a good story into a better one by fudging the truth a tiny bit. All you have to do is remember is Cindy claiming Mother Theresa asked her to take the 2 babies back to the states, one of which she adopted, when it was actually other nuns that asked. There again, making a good story better by fudging the facts a little. Its not like the McCain camp hasn't done it before.

    October 3, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  24. AC

    God Bless you & your family, Beau! Thank you for our FREEDOM!!
    Obama/Biden '08!!

    October 3, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. Debbi

    Wow, I think we can rest easy that Joe Biden can run the country very well if anything ever happened to Obama. In this day and age, one can never be certain that we are safe here in America. I would be extremely worried if Mrs. Palin became President because she would be more concerned about cheering her hockey team than dealing with Palestinians and extremists on a Saturday afternoon. Not that someone can do both, but for the next 4 years we have got to have someone who can focus on the world around us not just bounce babies on her knee.

    October 3, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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